There is more to who we are than our mind and our words.
Has talk therapy been helpful in the past – but doesn’t seem to touch some of your deeper pain and concerns? To address all of who we are – to move through our deep wounds and touch our deep resources, hopes, desires, meanings and purpose – we must move beyond just talking in therapy.
Body-mind (somatic) psychology is an interdisciplinary field that studies the body and the embodied self, and includes therapeutic and holistic approaches to the person as a whole body-mind. Body psychotherapy works from the assumption that our emotions, conscious and unconscious mind, core self, and relationships are all part of an experiential whole that is reflected in bodily experience – and bodily awareness and interventions as seen as key to healing and growth.
Body psychotherapy is really body-mind psychotherapy, and is sometimes referred to as somatic psychotherapy. Body psychotherapy doesn’t just focus on the body but differs from other kinds of counseling and therapy in that it doesn’t exclude the body. Body psychotherapy can be quite valuable for people who feel out of touch with their vitality, have trouble “getting out of their heads,” are seeking balanced expression of feeling and sexuality, or want to be more grounded and spontaneous in everyday life.
Bioenergetic Therapy Training
Bioenergetic Analysis is the foundation of the body-mind approach I use in counseling and in skills training sessions. Bioenergetic Analysis – developed by psychiatrists Alexander Lowen, MD and John Pierrakos, MD – is a psychotherapy that helps people resolve emotional issues and to realize their potential for an integrated and embodied life where they can experience vitality, love, pleasure, health and joy.
Bioenergetic Analysis has been around for 60 years but continues to be a cutting-edge psychotherapy – integrating ongoing insights and research from multiple disciplines, including attachment theory, trauma research, mindfulness research and practice, and neurobiology. Research in these fields validates what Lowen and Pierrakos knew regarding the body-mind relationship and why effective therapy includes both. Bioenergetic analysis is the root of nearly every other body psychotherapy method used today.
Body psychotherapy and Bioenergetic Analysis are valuable approaches to therapy
Body psychotherapy and Bioenergetic Analysis are valuable approaches to therapy because they help us uncover and work with unconscious processes, predispositions, views and behaviors that may not be readily apparent when working with words alone. It is these unconscious processes and motivations that get us in trouble in life, work, and that limit our understanding and expressing our whole self. We are conscious and unconscious beings. We are bodies and minds. Body psychotherapy techniques can commonly help bring unconscious motivations into the light of awareness more quickly than can talk alone.
People who can benefit from body psychotherapy and Bioenergetic Analysis include those who are:
- Stressed, feeling overwhelmed, and need stress management
- Dealing with depression or anxiety
- Having trouble managing their anger
- Struggling with recent or old traumas or abuse
- Experiencing PTSD symptoms
- Faced with relationship and sexuality issues
- Experiencing grief
- Dealing with addictions
- Struggling with such psychophysical complaints as pain, fatigue, and headaches
People pursue other kinds of counseling and therapy for these same concerns. One benefit of body psychotherapy is that it often provides a more direct route to both uncovering and addressing these and other kinds of emotional concerns.
Body psychotherapy integrates our mind and reason with our body and feeling, and works with both the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves – to help free us from old and limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world. You can also tap into resources and energy that have previously been inaccessible. Body psychotherapy can help you develop a felt sense of stability, resilience, and resourcefulness – along with increased energy, vitality, and pleasure in living.
My approach to somatic psychology – and to body psychotherapy and counseling – integrates practices from Bioenergetic Analysis and other body-mind psychotherapies, including Hakomi, somatic experiencing, sensorimotor therapy, and process work. I have many years of experience integrating body, mind, feeling and awareness into counseling and therapy – and am currently the Curriculum Director for the Florida Society for Bioenergetic Analysis.
If you are looking for ways to face your current struggles, as well as move beyond them to a more empowered and energetic sense of self, contact Dr. Charles Martin to schedule an appointment.